LAKE CITY, Fla. -- A Lake City family has a chance to go to New York City for their son with down syndrome. It's an opportunity of a lifetime, but they need your help to get there. "He has come a long way," said Michelle Schrader.
Young 12-year-old Chad Bartelme has down syndrome and can't speak well. But he can do a lot more than his doctors ever expected.
"They said he probably would never feed himself or walk or do anything for himself. But he has done every single thing they said he couldn't do," said his mother.
Chad will soon share his smile with millions. The National Down Syndrome Society picked his picture from more than 1,000 entries to help kick off down syndrome awareness month in October.
His picture will be a part of a video montage that will air in Times Square. And his mother hopes she can get him there to see it. "I've never been on a plane and neither had he. It's our first time, so it's a little overwhelming," she said.
Plane tickets, a hotel and spending money will cost the family of four around $1200. An account has been set up at Vystar Credit Union where people can donate.
"Everything we raise over that is going to the National Down Syndrome Society," she said.
While they are there, Chad will defy his doctors again and participate in the New York City Buddy Walk in Central Park.
"I just want to tell people don't ever think less of anyone," said Schrader.
The family hopes to travel to New York on September 21st. You can help Chad fulfill his dream by donating at any Vystar Credit Union. The account is in his mother's name, Michelle Schrader.